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Anonymous Clashes With D.C. Police During Million Mask March 388

Posted by Soulskill
from the remember,-remember,-the-something-something-something dept.
Daniel_Stuckey writes "Scheduled to coincide with Guy Fawkes Night, a centuries-old day of remembrance typically celebrated in Great Britain, the Nov. 5 protest is something of a tradition for the hacktivist collective. Anonymous, which is often identified by the Fawkes mask used in the Hollywood blockbuster V for Vendetta, hosted a similar rally in 2011, dubbed 'Night of a Thousand Masks.' Protesters in Washington, D.C. clashed with police before noon. By approximately 10am, an arrest was made. The incident was livestreamed, and Anonymous claimed that the individual was grabbed and arrested after stepping off a sidewalk and into the street. A spokesperson for the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department declined to comment."
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Anonymous Clashes With D.C. Police During Million Mask March

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  • by BringsApples (3418089) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @05:31AM (#45343611)
    I've never understood why protesters obey the rules and regulations of protests. I understand protesting, but for god's sake people, staying behind the line, or really keeping up any fabricated reason not to go to jail, is silly. The whole reason for a protest is to go to jail. It's not just to go to jail, but to have so many people go to jail that there is no feasible way that they can house them all. In the end, the point should be to overwhelm not only the people that you are protesting against, but to also overwhelm the police that have to look each person in the eye and arrest them. All protests should carry on without violence, without resistance, until the jails are filled.

    "Fight the power" means just that, however there are 2 pieces of the power - law-makers, and law-enforcers.
    • by Joining Yet Again (2992179) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @05:32AM (#45343615)

      OK. You go first.

      • Exactly my point. This man would not say that. [youtube.com]
      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @05:42AM (#45343647)

        This is Slashdot. Maybe ten years ago, maybe. Today? No. No frickin' way!

        How can I show up to work tomorrow if I'm in jail?

        Give me a blog post about violence in video games by a third-rate hack tech-journalist so I can express my superiority and fuck off. I've had a long day.

        • by BringsApples (3418089) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @06:21AM (#45343807)
          Right. So if that's the case, if people do not feel their cause is important enough to go to jail for 24 hours, then it's more likely that they're protesting in order to "have been there maaan", or something cheaper. In that case, the police take a different mindset, and that mindset is the scary one (probably because the police don't have respect for them at that point).

          Protesting is supposed to be an event that brings to light the truth behind logic and order's place in society.
          • by Joining Yet Again (2992179) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @06:26AM (#45343821)

            Being arrested is not a badge of honour, kid.

            And having states arrest people for protesting should not be a goal.

            • by BringsApples (3418089) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @06:50AM (#45343891)
              I never said anything about honor or a goal. You're basically telling me that surfers that say "Dude, sometimes you slam into the coral and get cut, but that's all part of it", are not surfers, but rather they are seeking honor, and slamming into the coral is the goal.

              No. All I was saying is that if you're out there protesting, then it should be something that you feel strongly about. So strong, that you are willing to go to jail for a few hours, at the very least. Protests only "work" when the powers that be change something. All else is not protesting, but simply hanging out. I'm not suggesting rioting, or anything like that, but you've gotta do more than sit around waiting to be pepper-sprayed by people that have no respect for you anymore - because you're such a pansy (this would be their mentality).
              • by Yetihehe (971185) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @06:58AM (#45343917)

                So strong, that you are willing to go to jail for a few hours, at the very least.

                Nope, now you can be accused of terrorism [commondreams.org] and held for a month just as an example or slapped with a nice fine of several thousand dollars for costs of detainment.

                • Not to mention that once you've been in jail you're pretty much unemployable (aside from a few jobs in rap music and computer security consulting, if you have one of those talents). You're doomed to destitution from then on. That's a heavy price to pay.

                  • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

                    by ShanghaiBill (739463)

                    Not to mention that once you've been in jail you're pretty much unemployable

                    I have been to jail. It has not made one iota of difference to my employment prospects. I doubt if any of my employers were even aware of it. None of them asked, and, as far as I know, none of them checked. Few companies do criminal background checks, and most of those will look at the nature of the crime. If you are working in finance, or defense jobs that require a security clearance, then it may make a difference. Otherwise, it usually does not.

                    • by RazorSharp (1418697) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @09:44AM (#45344953)

                      Blue collar jobs often actually do background checks and just toss out applicants who have criminal records. It's just a supply/demand issue: the supply of blue collar workers is extremely high while the demand for them is extremely low. Therefore, companies can choose to be extremely picky in who they hire. This creates a terrible situation for many who don't have the resources or intelligence to gain the higher education necessary to make them valuable enough for a company to overlook any misdemeanors they've been charged with. I assume that you have either an education or skills that make you valuable enough to your employer to overlook whatever prior offense you have on your record, or your skills in combination with your interview meant they didn't see any reason to bother with a background check.

                      Unfortunately, blue collar workers, who probably have the most reason to protest, also have the most to lose by doing so. They could make themselves unemployable to all but the lowest paying fast food jobs, which in turn would make crime a more appealing source of income, at which point they become part of the penal system's revolving door trap.

                    • by westlake (615356)

                      It's just a supply/demand issue: the supply of blue collar workers is extremely high while the demand for them is extremely low. Therefore, companies can choose to be extremely picky in who they hire.
                      This creates a terrible situation for many who don't have the resources or intelligence to gain the higher education necessary to make them valuable enough for a company to overlook any misdemeanors they've been charged with.

                      I hate to break this to you.

                      But the old geezer working the fork lift in Receiving is less likely to get the axe than the geek on campus who has been publically linked to Anonymous.

                    • by meerling (1487879)
                      Higher education takes significant resources not available to many people, intelligence level is often not a factor.
                      And that resource requirement is increasing every year, while the value of that 'higher education' is falling.
                      In many cases, it's already past the point of diminishing returns.
                      The more intelligent people are more likely to see that dilemma and not jump into that mess any more.
                      So far, a good alternative has not come up that I know of.

                      Sure, grants and loans still exist. But the grants are never
                  • That's a heavy price to pay.

                    Freedom isn't free, yeah there's a hefty fuckin' fee [youtube.com]

          • by Strawser (22927)

            go to jail for 24 hours

            That might sound better if the protest were out in the Loudoun or Fauquier county suburbs, but you're talking about Washington DC. The hell if I want to spend a night in one of their jails.

          • by N1AK (864906)

            In that case, the police take a different mindset, and that mindset is the scary one (probably because the police don't have respect for them at that point).

            Police behaviour towards protesters has nothing to do with how serious the police think the cause is; it might, potentially, vary depending on whether the police agree with the cause. Just look at how the protests against racism have been policed to see how false your statement is, unless you're suggesting that the people protesting against racism didn

    • by palemantle (1007299) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @05:41AM (#45343643)
      Going to jail as a protest isn't much of an option in the US of A. It doesn't matter if you are acquitted, yours chance of gainful employment are shot for good.

      I don't know if *you* would still do it given the chance. I know I wouldn't
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I don't know if *you* would still do it given the chance. I know I wouldn't

        Then you haven't found anything important enough.
        You would probably not mind living in a fascist dictatorship as long as you aren't among the people being harassed by it, at least not enough to actually stand up against the law enforcement to protect the victims in such a case.

      • by sirwired (27582) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @07:58AM (#45344175)

        For properly organized protests, the Park Service will agree (in advance) to arrest you and your fellow patriots in a way that won't harm your reputation in the least. As long as you don't degenerate into a violent mob, they'll happily (and photogenically) arrest you for obstructing the sidewalk, haul you off zip-tied in a van to a holding facility, issue you a nominal fine for a misdemeanor about as serious as a minor speeding ticket, and release you. (I doubt they even care if you pay the fine or not.)

        "Obstructing a Sidewalk" is hardly a violation upon which lives are ruined.

        • by mjm1231 (751545)

          Do they also provide catering?

          And who will provide this valuable service to me when I want to protest against the Park Service?

        • It doesn't matter how nice the police are; future employers will still ask "have you ever been arrested?" on the application and then round-file it if you answer truthfully or fail you on the background check if you lie.

          Sitting in a cell for a day (or a week, or even a month) or even having the shit beat of you by police is the least of your worries.

    • by Thanshin (1188877) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @06:07AM (#45343723)

      All protests should carry on without violence, without resistance, until the jails are filled.

      One should not protest unless ready to start a revolution. And once that decision is made, protesting is not the optimal path to victory.

      The day the reasonable people decide it's time to start a revolution won't be marked by a large protest, but by fire and blood and horror.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        One should not protest unless ready to start a revolution.

        One time in band camp we thought it was unfair that they were increasing our dues so instead of petitioning for a review we set fire to the buildings and killed all the band leaders and took their wives as spoils of war.

        • by Thanshin (1188877)

          One should not protest unless ready to start a revolution.

          One time in band camp we thought it was unfair that they were increasing our dues so instead of petitioning for a review we set fire to the buildings and killed all the band leaders and took their wives as spoils of war.

          Ignoring the sarcasm, that was the system teaching you how to only protest inside the accepted limits.

          As you've probably understood by now, the world is not Band Camp. If your bank increases your fees, petitioning for a review will get you nothing.

          If the government spends your taxes in a way you disagree with, and the election system makes you unable to change that, you can decide between shutting up, protesting and revolting. Of those three options, protesting causes the same amount of change as shutting

      • by MightyYar (622222)

        Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi definitely should definitely rethink their strategy. You are right, protest cannot be used to illustrate a moral wrong and build popular support - they should stop right now and arm their followers.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Bullshit.

        Besides, "fire, blood and horror" wouldn't win anyone to your cause and, before you're able to organize sufficient manpower to actually matter you'd be easily found out and imprisoned.

        You're the tough guy that will talk down on protests and demand for a real revolution while not getting away from his keyboard.

    • by 91degrees (207121)
      The reason for many protests is to show support for a cause. Not to get arrested.
    • You can see it well in the movie "Medium Cool" which was filmed during these protests.

      In Chicago, you obey the rules or you get your head split open.

    • by swb (14022)

      The big problem with getting arrested and "go to jail" nowadays is that you stand a really good chance of having employment problems down the road.

      It used to be that a municipal arrest record for something like this wasn't really that big of a deal, especially if your potential employer wasn't located in that municipality or it wasn't your home address. Records required manual search, the charges were almost always misdemeanor disturbing the peace-type charges and it was functionally invisible.

      Nowadays, th

    • The Park Service has no interest in "filling up the jails" with non-violent protestors. They can't have unruly mobs making the city unusable, but also have to make sure people have the ability to petition the government for the redress of grievances.

      If you want some non-violent arrests during your protest, all you have to do is ask. The Park Service will work out with you how many of your Warriors For Freedom will get photogenically arrested, and all you have to do is have your designated arrestees stand

    • by MacTO (1161105)

      Following the rules and regulations depends upon a lot of factors.

      For example: you are probably going to follow obey early in the process. Your goal should be to get your message out in order to gain public support, and hopefully end up with a completely peaceful resolution. You should only be escalating the issue if that doesn't work.

      For example: you are probably going to obey if there are hot-heads in your midst. You may know the rules of peaceable defiance, but the person next to you may be looking fo

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      American protests are not protests, they are social gatherings.

  • London too (Score:4, Interesting)

    by biodata (1981610) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @05:42AM (#45343645)
    Scuffles with police when Anonymous set fire to their electricity bills outside Buckingham Palace as a symbolic act of protest against the price of staying warm in winter. (source BBC news).
    • by Joining Yet Again (2992179) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @05:47AM (#45343665)

      Maybe it's time to stop supporting three political parties all of which are further to the right than Thatcher.

      But I guess everyone has to start somewhere, and that somewhere sometimes involves wearing a mask and burning stuff.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by BlueStrat (756137)

        Maybe it's time to stop supporting three political parties all of which are further to the right than Thatcher.

        But I guess everyone has to start somewhere, and that somewhere sometimes involves wearing a mask and burning stuff.

        Yes, because supporting the left, who believe the solution to all problems is to grant government even more power and control, will nip that abuse of government power and control right in the bud.

        Yup, right in the bud.

        Bud, zoom, gone.

        Makes perfect sense.

        Strat

        • by Joining Yet Again (2992179) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @06:12AM (#45343753)

          In the spirit of things, I choose to set fire to your strawman.

          • Re:London too (Score:4, Insightful)

            by BlueStrat (756137) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @06:37AM (#45343843)

            Maybe it's time to stop supporting three political parties all of which are further to the right than Thatcher.

            But I guess everyone has to start somewhere, and that somewhere sometimes involves wearing a mask and burning stuff.

            Yes, because supporting the left, who believe the solution to all problems is to grant government even more power and control, will nip that abuse of government power and control right in the bud.

            Yup, right in the bud.

            Bud, zoom, gone.

            Makes perfect sense.

            Strat

            In the spirit of things, I choose to set fire to your strawman .

            You use that word...I do not think it means what you think it means. Yes, the "set fire to your strawman" line is cute, but you really should have waited to trot that one out in a reply where it might have made sense.

            The left advocates for a stronger, more powerful government because that's what is required to implement and manage things like wealth redistribution/entitlements and nationalized services and resources. They themselves admit as much.

            Therefor, if the problem is government power & control being abused, putting people in charge who will grant the government even more power & control (the left) is antithetical to the goal of reducing/eliminating government abuse of their power & control.

            Strat

            • In the UK, we have a very powerful government. It just doesn't exert its power in the interests of the people.

              So, again, tear down that straw man.

              • In the UK, we have a very powerful government. It just doesn't exert its power in the interests of the people.

                That's exactly the point. The UK government has a lot of power that it uses to further its own interests, rather than the interests of the people. The problem is that people (and government officials) will almost ALWAYS act in THEIR OWN self interest, not the interest of "the people."

                That's the general idea behind American Conservatism. The government will always act in its own interest and against the interests of "the people," so we should limit the amount of damage they can do by having the government

                • Re:London too (Score:5, Insightful)

                  by Joining Yet Again (2992179) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @07:22AM (#45344009)

                  I see you're preaching for the Church of American Conservatism, and I am not interested in your leaflets.

                  I don't want to change the size of government. I want the people to take back control of government.

                  You're just trying to sell me a power vacuum.

                • by MightyYar (622222)

                  That's the general idea behind American Conservatism.

                  That might be what fires up people, but in practice they do the same thing as the Democrats when they get into power: grow government and enforce their morals upon society. Bush got elected, managed to get a majority in both houses of congress and... promptly passed the largest expansion of Medicare up to that time, and passed a law banning the budding gay marriage movement.

                • by N1AK (864906)

                  That's the general idea behind American Conservatism.

                  True, and it doesn't work. America is massively to the right of Europe and I'd take the government, laws etc of almost any European country over America. There will always be people who wield power, if you have weak government then you don't automatically become more free; you just end up being controlled by someone else who you certainly didn't get vote for.

        • by Sockatume (732728)

          Your "less spending, small government, no interference" talking points don't work when the encumbent right wing party's pushing through regulation-of-the-press bills, threatening to cut the BBC's funding unless they get back in line, and adding billions of pounds worth of extra administrative layers to the health system. The UK's Conservative party believes in treading lightly where business is concerned, but they're not exactly shy about expanding their footprint when it comes to social control.

          • The primary purpose of the conservative party is to legislate in order to funnel money to their sponsors.

            It doesn't believe in small government, but in privatised government, where the DWP channels billions to ineffective Work Programmes and medical assessments to line the pockets of private providers, and creates a "Universal Credit" welfare scheme which is nothing more than subsidising employers who do not pay a living wage; where the NHS must fire its managers so it must hire pricey healthcare management

          • by BlueStrat (756137)

            Your "less spending, small government, no interference" talking points don't work when the encumbent right wing party's pushing through regulation-of-the-press bills, threatening to cut the BBC's funding unless they get back in line, and adding billions of pounds worth of extra administrative layers to the health system. The UK's Conservative party believes in treading lightly where business is concerned, but they're not exactly shy about expanding their footprint when it comes to social control.

            Britain's "right wing" would be wildly liberal/progressive/left in the US. Britain simply has one leftist party with a branch that is slightly more moderate.

            Strat

            • You need to get rid of your US-centric perspective.

              To the whole world, the two mainstream US political parties are quite far to the right.

              The Tory party in the UK is idealistically somewhere between the Democratic and Republican parties, but can't get rid of various left wing initiatives (e.g. the NHS) because they're too popular. It's trying hard to make them dysfunctional, and will probably succeed eventually, but that's where we are for now..

          • The UK's Conservative party believes in treading lightly where business is concerned, but they're not exactly shy about expanding their footprint when it comes to social control.

            Which is very different from the Labour party who believes in treading lightly where business is concerned, but are not exactly shy about expanding their footprint when it comes to social control.

            Or the Lib Dems which are about half way between the two.

            I vote for none of the above for what little good it does.

      • Re:London too (Score:5, Insightful)

        by RDW (41497) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @06:11AM (#45343747)

        ``No,'' said Ford, who by this time was a little more rational and coherent than he had been, having finally had the coffee forced down him, ``nothing so simple. Nothing anything like so straightforward. On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards role the people.''

        ``Odd,'' said Arthur, ``I thought you said it was a democracy.''

        ``I did,'' said Ford. ``It is.''

        ``So,'' said Arthur, hoping he wasn't sounding ridiculously obtuse, ``why don't people get rid of the lizards?''

        ``It honestly doesn't occur to them,'' said Ford. ``They've all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they've voted in more or less approximates to the government they want.''

        ``You mean they actually vote for the lizards?''

        ``Oh yes,'' said Ford with a shrug, ``of course.''

        ``But,'' said Arthur, going for the big one again, ``why?''

        ``Because if they didn't vote for a lizard,'' said Ford, ``the wrong lizard might get in. Got any gin?''

  • Occupy Sandy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @05:47AM (#45343671)

    Did you catch the NYTimes article on undercover agents at these protests, it's so bad in New York, that undercover officers infiltrate 'Occupy Sandy' the hurricane relief effort!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/11/nyregion/undercover-just-about-everywhere.html?_r=0

    But the agent provocateur problem is more serious, officers starting or attempting to provoke crimes that can be used to justify mass arrests, e.g. from the NYT article:

    "One of the large, undiscussed questions of such surveillance is how civic dialogue can be influenced or distorted by police agents — perhaps as provocateurs, or possibly with no motive beyond maintaining cover. During the Republican convention, after a group making a film was arrested, a redheaded man standing on the street pounded on the back window of a police van, urging that the people inside be let go. A day later, the same man was videotaped being briefly put under a fake arrest, leading to tumult in the street from others who objected to his incarceration. They were unaware that the man was an undercover police officer who was walked down the street by uniformed officers, hands behind his back but uncuffed, and sent on his way: catch and release. "

    • Re:Occupy Sandy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Joining Yet Again (2992179) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @05:56AM (#45343687)

      If you don't know about agents provocateurs, you really ought not to be at a protest - it's like crossing the road without knowing that you might have to check for traffic.

      IOW, protest leaders need to give some basic training to protesters.

      • If you don't know about agents provocateurs, you really ought not to be at a protest

        Wtf? How are you supposed to tell the difference between the police acting like assholes towards a normal citizen and the police acting like assholes by planting an agent provocatuer.

    • Re:Occupy Sandy (Score:5, Interesting)

      by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @07:03AM (#45343935) Journal
      How often do undercover agents actually provoke action from protesters? Over here (NL), it is usually the Autonomen, a group of hard core "professional" protesters, who join otherwise peaceful protests with the specific intent to stir up trouble. These groups have also been used by mayors as a convenient excuse to ban certain protests (usually far right wing marches); they issue the permit for the march, wait for radical leftists to announce a counter-demo (sometimes even helpfully calling them to let them know something's up), and then cancel the permit on grounds of public safety concerns. It's highly likely that these radical groups have been infultrated with government agents, and while I do not think it's these agents who get legitimate protests cancelled, it would not surprise me either if it turns out they are.

      Just wondering: what exactly are the legalities of the use of agents provocateur? At the very least the agents themselves could be charged with inciting riots, but someone is giving them orders, and that someone is following someone else's policy or "polite request", it seems to me that some very serious charges could be levelled at the people up the command chain. That is, if anything ever came of inquiries into such matters.
  • by Sockatume (732728) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @06:03AM (#45343709)

    It was a celebration of the capture and execution of anti-government forces, with some vaguely anti-Catholic undertones, not a remembrance of their efforts. It has since metamorphosed into a politically neutral excuse to set off some fireworks and eat hamburgers on soggy November nights, and I'm all for using it as an ironic de-facto civil liberties day, but let's not be mistaken about its historical origins.

  • by fufufang (2603203) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @06:04AM (#45343713)

    ...Time Warner Inc.'s Guy Fawkes masks.

    Also Guy Fawkes failed to blow up the Parliament in real life, so this mask is a mask of fail.

  • anti-Catholic hatred? Nice. That'll certainly get them some converts! Nothing like a little one-minute hate to bring in the plebes!

  • If you're protesting about a corporation's activities (Don't buy Nestle Products, Monsanto GM corn etc.) then you are working within the system, protesting to raise awareness of your issue, and Western states typically allow this (note the use of the word "allow"). However, if the object of your protest is the government itself, then sooner or later you will inevitably need to break their "rules of protest". No government is going to submit to a revolution without a fight.

  • A 'medic' was allegedly pulled over a barricade because he was holding Scissors; I'm not sure what happened with the other two. People were off the Sidewalk ALL day through 6pm EST without genuine interference by authorities, though when the main group split at one point there was rumor that a few more got picked up when they stayed behind at the White House and authorities weren't so overwhelmed by numbers. Otherwise, the protest was fairly benign as far as Police action until someone threw a foam ball
  • by sirwired (27582) on Wednesday November 06, 2013 @07:25AM (#45344023)

    I read an article several years ago on how the Park Service handles protests...

    DC of course hosts a very large number of government protests. Since most of those protests take place on land managed by the US Park Service, they handle protest management. They are required to reasonably let protestors do their thing, but they also have an interest in preserving the other uses of the land; namely for tourism, recreation, and of course the business of government and the functioning of the city.

    Now, if they come down like a sack of bricks on protestors, the Park Service will end up looking like a bunch of thugs, and get slapped by the courts. But if anyone that wants to protest can do anything they want, it would make it difficult for DC to function as a city. Different groups also need different space allocated for their protests. (Six different groups protesting six different things can't get their message out if they are all mixed together in an undifferentiated mob.)

    Now, protestors like to be arrested; it makes for good PR, nice photos, fundraising, member recruitment, whatever... but few activists actually want to do anything violent or damaging or spend any time in prison, get beat by riot police, etc. And the Park Service has more important things to do then sending people "up the river" for doing something illegal (but not especially violent) during a protest, like vandalism, blocking traffic, etc., and they also don't want those disruptive offenses to take place. (And they especially don't want a protest to degenerate into a violent mob while trying to get arrested.)

    So what does the Park Service do? A couple things:
    - They actually negotiate arrest counts, protest locations, timing, etc. in advance of the demonstrations. If you want to protest in a high-profile location, like in front of the White House, your protest can't last too long, and the arrest count the Park Service will agree to will be low. Protests in less photogenic locations can be larger.
    - The "arrests" are usually for violation of the "Kodak Moment Rule"; basically, you can't stop in one place so long you obstruct others trying to take photos. This is about the least disruptive thing possible, anywhere, to get arrested for. You'll get zip-tied, taken to a holding facility (a warehouse in SE), fill out some paperwork, pay a $50 fine, and get released (it's even convenient to Metro!) I doubt they do anything with your new "criminal record" other than stuff it in a filing box.

    The article had an anecdote about a NORML-backed protest and their negotiations; NORML wanted a large number of protestors on a certain day right in front of the White House. The Park Service negotiator complained that there were already three other protests scheduled that day, and his participant count and requested number of arrests was too large; so the Service offered a larger protest in front of Treasury, (just across the street) instead. The guy from NORML challenged the Park Service lawyer to a joint rolling contest to settle the dispute.

    The Park Service lawyer won.

    Another fun fact: After the Park Service got accused over the years of being racist/anti-semitic/muslim/sexist/baby-killing/woman-hating/jewish/white-oppressing/Nazi/etc. Tools of the Oppressor, they stopped releasing protest/march participant estimates. They do estimate how many people show up for each protest, but don't release the info because they were invariably accused of inflating/undercounting (depending on who was complaining) every single gathering for pretty much every cause.

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